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Doctor says Joe Burrow will start Week 1 of 2021 NFL season

Matt Fitzgerald

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Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow is making rapid progress in his return from a major knee injury, and should be ready for Week 1 of the 2021 season.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported an update on Burrow’s recovery status, which came courtesy of his surgeon, Dr. Dr. Neal ElAttrache:

“We just had him tested out here with a high-tech video and biomechanical evaluation and he was ahead of where we anticipated and well into the return to performance phase of his recovery. With him already performing this way, it’s ‘all systems go’ for the start of the season.”

Burrow was the No. 1 overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft and played extremely well as a rookie before tearing his ACL when he was brutally hit against the Washington Football Team in Week 11 of last season.

Considering that game took place on November 22, 2020, it’s indeed remarkable that Burrow has come such a long way in his rehab in this abbreviated period of time.

While an ACL tear isn’t the potentially career-ending injury it once was, Burrow suffered other structural damage and a torn MCL.

Based on what Dr. ElAttrache is saying, though, it seems like Burrow’s mobility, athleticism and ability to extend plays with his legs won’t be too hindered going forward. It’ll be more about him gaining confidence in the knee in live game situations and trusting it.

During the 2020 campaign, Burrow completed 65.3% of his passes for 2,688 yards with 13 touchdowns and five interceptions. This was despite the fact that Cincinnati had a porous offensive line that led to him getting hit a lot despite an abundance of short-area passing game concepts Burrow executed at a high level.

With reinforcements added to the trenches and the arrival of Burrow’s former LSU teammate Ja’Marr Chase as the Bengals’ hopeful No. 1 receiver of the future, it should be a fruitful 2021 season for Burrow and Cincinnati’s passing attack.